Practice During Advent:
Morning Prayers
From THE LITURGICAL YEAR, Book 1, Advent
Dom Guéranger OSB
First Translation: 1867


DURING Advent, the Christian, on awaking in the morning, will unite himself with the Church, who, in her Office of Matins, says to us these solemn words, which choirs of religious, men and women, throughout the universe, have been chanting during the deep silence of the night:

  Regem venturum Dominum, venite, adoremus.  Come, let us adore the King our Lord, Who is to come!

  He will profoundly adore this great King, Whose coming is so near at hand: and with this idea deeply impressed upon his mind, he will perform the first act of religion, both interior and exterior, wherewith he begins the day. The time for morning prayer being come, he may use the following method, which is formed upon the very prayers of the Church:


  First, praise and adoration of the most holy Trinity:

 V. Let us bless the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

R. Let us praise Him and extol Him above all for ever.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.

   R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Then, praise to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ:

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee.

R. Because by Thy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

Thirdly, invocation of the Holy Ghost:

    Come, O holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful, and enkindle within them the fire of Thy love.

 After these fundamental acts of religion, you will recite the Lord's Prayer or the Our Father, asking of God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to grant that His holy name may be glorified on earth by sending His Son, Who will found the kingdom of God, and that He will vouchsafe to give us this Saviour Who is our Bread and Who will obtain for us, by the mediation so long looked for, the forgiveness of our sins; finally, that He will deliver us from sin, which is the sovereign evil.

Then address the Angelical Salutation to Mary or the Hail Mary, who is, in these days which precede the Nativity, so truly full of grace, since she has in her chaste womb Him Who is the author of all grace. The Lord, the fruit of her womb, is with her; and we may already give her the sublime and unshared title of Mother of God.

After this, recite the Symbol of Faith or the Apostles' Creed, and as you pronounce the words, Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, dwell on them with special attention, adoring the Saviour, Who is as yet concealed in Mary's womb.

After having thus made the profession of your faith, excite within yourself sentiments of penance, by the remembrance of the sins you have committed; of gratitude to the Lamb of God, Who is coming in order to save us; and of fear of the last day. For this end, say with the Church the following hymn taken from the Office of Lauds for Advent:


The solemn voice of the Precursor is heard, explaining the obscurity of the ancient figures; let our slumbers cease; Jesus is rising on our horizon.

     Let the sluggish soul now rise, and stay no more upon this earth; a new star is shining which will take all sin away.

    Lo! the Lamb is sent to forgive us freely our debt: let us unite in tears and prayers, that we may obtain pardon.

    That when He comes the second time, filling the world with fear, He may not have to punish us for our sins, but may protect us in mercy.

    Power, honour, praise, and glory, be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the holy Paraclete, for ever and ever. Amen.

Here make a humble confession of your sins, reciting the general formula made use of by the Church.


 I confess to almighty God, to blessed Mary ever Virgin, to blessed Michael the Archangel, to blessed John the Baptist, to the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and to all the Saints, that I have sinned exceedingly in thought, word, and deed: through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault. Therefore I beseech blessed Mary ever Virgin, blessed Michael the Archangel, blessed John the Baptist, the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and all the Saints, to pray to the Lord our God for me.

  May almighty God have mercy on us, and, our sins being forgiven, bring us to life everlasting. Amen.

  May the almighty and merciful Lord grant us pardon, absolution, and remission of our sins. Amen.

This is the proper place for making your meditation, as no doubt you practice this holy exercise. During Advent, its principal object ought to be the removing from ourselves those hindrances, which would oppose Jesus' coming and reigning within us. The love of sensual pleasures, avarice, and pride, that triple concupiscence which St. John so strongly condemns in his first Epistle, must be withstood, else our preparation for Christmas is useless. And as the chief thing ,in every prayer or meditation is to turn our thoughts to Jesus Christ, we must, during Advent, contemplate Him in the womb of Mary, where He remains hidden, giving us, by this His state of abasement, a most telling lesson of devotedness to His Father's glory, of obedience to the Divine decrees, and of humility; but, at the same time, He gives us a most powerful proof of the greatness of His love of us. This thought will naturally suggest to us a variety of motives and resolutions for breaking those ties which keep us from a virtuous life. But should they not produce sufficient impression on us, we must then consider Jesus as our Judge, in the dread magnificence of His majesty, and all the severity of His inevitable vengeance.

The next part of your morning prayer must be to ask of God, by the following prayers, grace to avoid every kind of sin during the day you are just beginning. Say, then, with the Church, whose prayers must always be preferred to all others:

 V. O Lord, hear my prayer.

R. And let my cry come unto Thee.


<>  Almighty Lord and God, Who hast brought us to the beginning of this day, let Thy powerful grace so conduct us through it, that we may not fall into any sin, but that all our thoughts, words, and actions may be regulated according to the rules of Thy heavenly justice, and tend to the observance of Thy holy law. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Then beg the Divine assistance for the actions of the day, that you may do them well; and say thrice:

V. Incline unto my aid, O God.

  R. O Lord, make haste to help me.

  V. Incline unto my aid, O God.

  R. O Lord, make haste to help me.

  V. Incline unto my aid, O God.

  R. O Lord, make haste to help me.


   Lord God, and King of Heaven and earth, vouchsafe this day to rule and sanctify, to direct and govern our souls and bodies, our senses, words, and actions in conformity to Thy law, and strict obedience to Thy commands; that by the help of Thy grace, O Saviour of the world, we may be fenced and freed from all evils. Who livest and reignest for ever and ever. Amen.

After this, uniting yourself with the Church, which, both in the Divine Office, and during the holy Sacrifice, prays for the coming of Jesus Christ, say:

 V. O Lord God of hosts, come and deliver us.

  R. Show Thy face, and we shall be saved.

  V. Show us, O Lord, Thy mercy.

  R. And grant us the Saviour, Whom we expect from Thee.

  V. The Lord shall rise upon thee, O Jerusalem.

R. And His glory shall be seen upon thee.


(1st week)

    Exert, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy power and come; that by Thy protection we may be freed from the imminent dangers of our sins, and be saved by Thy mercy;  Who livest and reignest God, world without end. Amen.

(2nd week)

   Stir up, O Lord, our hearts to prepare the ways of Thy only-begotten Son: that by His coming we may be enabled to serve Thee with pure minds; Who livest and reignest God, world without end. Amen.

(3rd week)

   Bend Thine ear, O Lord, we beseech Thee, to our prayers, and enlighten the darkness of our minds by the grace of Thy visitation; Who livest and reignest God, world without end. Amen.

(4th week)

   Exert, we beseech thee, O Lord, Thy power and come; and succor us by Thy great might; that by the assistance of Thy grace, Thy indulgent mercy may hasten what is delayed by our sins; Who livest and reignest God, world without end. Amen.

  It. would be well to add the special prayer which the Church says, during Advent, in honor of the blessed Mother of God.


  O God, Who wast pleased that Thy Word, when the Angel delivered his message, should take flesh in the womb of the blessed Virgin Mary; give ear to our humble petitions, and grant that we, who believe her to be truly the Mother of God, may be helped by her prayers. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.  


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